[ ish ]

  1. (used to modify or moderate something previously stated or as a vague reply to a question) somewhat; in a way; not exactly: It's a decent (ish) place to work.“Are you tired?” “Yeah...ish.”I'd like to get married. Ish.

  2. near or about; approximately: The lights went out at 11-ish.It'll be a $25ish taxi ride.

Origin of ish

First recorded in 1985–90; from -ish1 (in the sense “somewhat”)

Words Nearby ish

Other definitions for -ish (2 of 3)


  1. a suffix used to form adjectives from nouns, with the sense of “belonging to” (British; Danish; English; Spanish); “after the manner of,” “having the characteristics of,” “like” (babyish; girlish; mulish); “addicted to,” “inclined or tending to” (bookish; freakish); “near or about” (fiftyish; sevenish).

  2. a suffix used to form adjectives from other adjectives, with the sense of “somewhat,” “rather” (oldish; reddish; sweetish).

Origin of -ish

Middle English; Old English -isc; cognate with German -isch, Old Norse -iskr, Gothic -isks, Greek diminutive noun suffix -isk(os); akin to -esque

Other definitions for -ish (3 of 3)


  1. a suffix occurring in i-stem verbs borrowed from French: ravish.

Origin of -ish

From French -iss-, extended stem of verbs with infinitives in -ir, ultimately from Latin -isc-, in verbs that express the beginning of an action or process Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ish in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -ish (1 of 2)


suffix forming adjectives
  1. of or belonging to a nationality or group: Scottish

  2. often derogatory having the manner or qualities of; resembling: slavish; prudish; boyish

  1. somewhat; approximately: yellowish; sevenish

  2. concerned or preoccupied with: bookish

Origin of -ish

Old English -isc; related to German -isch, Greek -iskos

British Dictionary definitions for ish (2 of 2)


/ (ɪʃ) /

sentence substitute
  1. slang used to express reservation or qualified assent: Things are looking up. Ish

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012